Lincoln Center Welcomes the Greg Osby Sextet

By
Mitzi Dorbu
October 15, 2009
Roy Guzman, Melissa Aldana, Michael Palma, Greg Osby, Joe Dyson, Max Moran, and Grace Kelly
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Innovative and acclaimed saxophonist and Berklee professor Greg Osby leads an all-star group of students he's selected to play Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola stage. Come out and enjoy some of Berklee's best, from New Orleans to Chile and from Massachusetts to Puerto Rico. The performance is part of the Lincoln Center Upstarts! program, where up-and-comers and veteran musicians jam together on one bandstand, Monday, October 26, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Broadway at 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York. 

Read dispatches from the event on Berklee Blogs.

Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a bandleader and a guest artist with other acclaimed musicians over the past 20 years. Born in St. Louis, Osby played in a series of r&b, funk, and blues bands before enrolling at Howard University and then Berklee. Upon relocating to New York, Osby quickly became an in-demand sideman for such artists as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, and Andrew Hill. Releasing his solo recording debut with Sound Theater in 1987, Osby went on to make acclaimed contributions to Hill's Eternal Spirit and But Not Farewell, and pioneer the fusion of hip-hop and jazz with 1990's Man-Talk for Moderns, Vol. X—the first of many sessions for Blue Note. In 2003, Osby crossed over into rock music, touring with the Dead, a reincarnation of the Grateful Dead. After having completed 15 recordings for Blue Note, Osby launched his own record company, Inner Circle Music, which serves as a springboard for many of today's brightest artists. Witness Osby bring some of the next crop of big talent forward live and direct at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.   

Melissa Aldana started music studies on the saxophone with her father, Marcos Aldana, in Chile when she was 7 years old. Watching her father daily with his private students was the perfect training to learn her instrument and the music itself. In a short time she developed a technique that garnered her invitations to international competitions and first place honors. Once she entered Chile's jazz scene she gained great respect among her jazz colleagues and in 2006 was invited to perform live with Randy Brecker. Danilo Perez also asked her to perform at the Panama Jazz Festival that year. She now attends Berklee on a full-ride Berklee Presidential Scholarship. For more information, visit myspace.com/melissaaldana.

New Orleans native and drummer Joe Dyson was introduced to music as a toddler by his family. Along the way he studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp, and Berklee's Five-Week Summer Performance Program and Jazz Workshop. He has performed internationally with Donald Harrison, Ellis Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, and George Porter Jr., among others.

Guitarist/composer Roy Guzman Rodriguez is 22 and hails from Cupey, Puerto Rico. He studied classical guitar with Leonardo Egurbida at the Pablo Cassals Conservatoire of Puerto Rico, later transfering to Berklee College of Music on scholarship. He is the recipient of the Billboard Endowed Scholarship at Berklee. Guzman's teachers include Hal Crook, Mick Goodrick, Tim Miller, Greg Osby, Dave Santoro, Rick Pekham and Dave, Tronzo. He was a semifinalist in the Gibson Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. He currently leads his own group, the Roy Guzman Quintet, that performed at George Wein's Jazz Festival 55 in Newport, Rhode Island; the Duke Ellington Jazz Fest in D.C.; and Lincoln Center. He has recorded two albums as part of the Orbits Quintet. Other performances include the Xalapa Jazz Fest, Banff Canada, the Heineken Jazz Fest, and the Carolina Jazz Fest.

Saxophonist, singer, composer, arranger, songwriter, and recording artist Grace Kelly, from Brookline, MA, has recorded and/or performed with Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Wynton Marsalis, Hank Jones, Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick Jr., and Dianne Reeves, among many others. The venues she's played are as diverse as Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Boston's Symphony Hall, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Scullers Jazz Club, Regatta Bar, and many jazz festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Named one of the youngest ever "alto saxophone rising stars" in the 57th annual Down Beat Critics Poll, Kelly has released five CDs as a leader since the age of 12. She has won two ASACP Young Jazz Composer Awards, twelve Down Beat Student Music Awards, five International Songwriting Awards, and numerous others. She is now a sophomore at Berklee College of Music after having entered Berklee at age 16. For more information, visit gracekellymusic.com.

Max Moran began playing the electric bass at the age of 13. Moran soon developed a love of jazz, which led him to continue his studies the following year at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.  At NOCCA, Moran began studying acoustic bass with New Orleans bass virtuoso Chris Severin and was also taught by Michael Pellera and the late legendary clarinetist, educator, and composer Alvin Batiste.  While still at NOCCA, Moran began to perform and travel with Batiste, Donald Harrison, and other New Orleans musicians. Moran is now attending Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship and continues to play internationally in the Donald Harrison Quartet and Electric Band.

Michael Palma is a jazz pianist, producer, composer, sound designer, and teacher. Born in Irving, Texas, Palma began classical piano lessons at the age of 5. By the time he was 14, he was playing with the jazz elite in Dallas, Texas. He won several Down Beat awards during his time at Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas. Palmer has also played with acts in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Dallas, France, and Japan. He has performed in professional settings with Wynton Marsalis, Chris Potter, Adonis Rose, Jason Palmer, Hal Crook, Dave Santoro, Roy Hargrove, Paquito d'Rivera, Tootie Heath, Marchel Ivery, and Barry Riese. He has co-composed 12 songs, some of which are currently being used on programs such as America's Most Wanted and Fox Sports Southwest. While at Berklee he has played at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and the Blue Note in New York.